Bad Day For The South

Ok, no, I can't really take credit for that joke, but it's kind of true. :D  (Lincoln and Darwin, in case you were wondering.)

It's been 200 years, which is more than long enough to get the facts completely distorted, and there are a couple of things that I think should be straightened out.  I think the truth is a bit more to Darwin's credit than to Lincoln's, personally.

For all you Darwin or evolution bashers, get this straight: evolution is not teleological (I just learned that word today!).  There is no "end" in sight.  This is a random process--if it fits together and successfully reproduces, it survives.  Opposable thumbs and big brains are a happy accident.

Actually, there are some scientists who need to remember this too.  It's time we stopped looking for progress and instead focused on trends--and I also think that researchers are getting better about that.

About Lincoln: above all, he originally wanted to preserve the Union.  I don't remember the exact source, but he did say that he wouldn't free the slaves if it would mean the dissolution of the United States.  He did still run on the abolitionists' side (which is what the Republican party was originally created as, and yes both parties have changed a lot since then), so yeah, he was in favor of that.  Good for him.

Of course, the U.S. was still behind even Russia (well known as the lagger when considered with other European countries, and anyone who wants to yell at me about it can just take a quick look at the Russo-Japanese War), in that Russia freed its serfs after (or perhaps right around) the Crimean War, which was from 1859-1861.

At this point, I could bitch a lot about how badly American history is taught in schools: the Civil War was not the first modern war and the last thing Americans did before the Europeans was have a revolution....

Anyway, 200th birthday for Lincoln and Darwin both.  How often does that happen, where two really famous, controversial people are born on the same day in the same year?

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